Micheal Ferland not at practice, Lance Bouma looks to draw back in

The Calgary Flames’ roster has been in a state of injury-based flux since before the season began. 

They’ve never had all players available to them healthy at the same time. Just when it seems as though they’re finally going to have to make a decision so as to avoid going over the roster limit, someone else gets hurt.

That someone might be Micheal Ferland this time, as he was not a part of the Flames’ practice today – and Lance Bouma, on the injured reserve, was.

Where we last left off

Michael Frolik was on the verge of returning from a shoulder injury. Out since Dec. 15, he has been sitting on the injured reserve, allowing the Flames to keep another player – be it the waiver-exempt Markus Granlund, or any of their frequent healthy scratches – up on the main roster.

With his return imminent, a player would have to be sent down. Or at least, that was the case until Bouma was injured and back on the injured reserve just two games before Frolik came back.

Thus, the only roster move the Flames had to make was to swap Frolik for Bouma, and everything else remained a constant.

Potential lines

If these hold true, then there are a few takeaways from this particular group:

  • Mason Raymond and Josh Jooris are scratches.
  • David Jones, who saw top line duty over Jiri Hudler earlier in the season, is back up there.
  • Bob Hartley at least knows not to mess with that second line, which has been on fire.
  • Lance Bouma will be back.

The Flames’ next game is tomorrow, so if Bouma is taking regular line rushes at practice, it seems a good indication he’ll be doing just that in games, too.

(Scratching Jooris remains inexplicable, but I digress.)

Activating Bouma from the injured reserve would put the Flames at 24 guys, so something’s going to change roster-wise.

Always 24 guys around

As detailed above: pretty much somebody is always injured, and so, throughout the season, the Flames have consistently had more than 23 players around, albeit the extras are on the injured reserve.

Here’s the thing: no Flames were waived today. If Bouma is back, he has to be activated tomorrow at the latest. This essentially leaves us with two possibilities:

  1. Granlund, who does not need to clear waivers, is going back to Stockton.
  2. Ferland is going on the injured reserve.

I would bet the answer is the second one. Granlund, for all his up-and-down play one could expect of any kid, is beloved in this lineup. He remains at centre, even though there’s almost certainly a better option in Sam Bennett. He continues to get consistent minutes, averaging 13:09 a game this season. And he’s never healthy scratched – certainly not to the extent Bollig, Jooris, or Raymond have been throughout the season.

Of course, there is the possibility that despite the Flames’ love for Granlund, he’ll be going down anyway as a matter of it being the easiest solution. Three forwards have been frequent healthy scratches, but maybe they don’t want to see any sent down: possibly not Bollig for his grit and probable value in the room, Jooris for his potential and the risk of getting Paul Byron’d again, and Raymond for signalling the death knell on such an expensive contract.

But Ferland only played 6:47 against the Columbus Blue Jackets before he left early in the second period, and it didn’t look good.

If the Flames do place Ferland on the injured reserve, it can be retroactive to his injury, and the absolute earliest he would be able to return to game action would be on Feb. 3: the Flames’ first game after the All-Star Break.

There’s no telling how long Ferland could be out for, but the timing of the All-Star Weekend could give him extra recovery time if need be, as that’s almost two weeks following his injury – if that’s what ends up happening, of course.

Or he could be out longer. Or not at all. This is total speculation at this point.

But it does look like another injury has saved the Flames from having to make another roster decision, yet again.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Good to see Booms is back.

    All this on and off injury activity has postponed the point in time where some hard decisions for the roster have to be made. Jooris is sitting while players like Raymond, Bollig, Colborne get more games played…

  • FeyWest

    I still think Raymond should be the guy sent down not Granlund, we have much to gain giving him the ice-time and experience even if only to bridge over until one of our other prospects supplants him. Raymond has passed through before so it’s a good bet he would again. Just my thoughts though.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    In my opinion, Raymond should be waived when Ferland is healthy. It’s highly unlikely he’ll be claimed and if he was it $3.1 m off the cap next year. I also think we should send Granlund down although he’ll be missed on the penalty kill.

    Then Grant who has been scoring prolifically as a first line center in Stockton should be brought up. He would be a great addition to the fourth line and can win key faceoffs probably better than any of the existing centers. He proved that the last time he was here. Plus it gives a fourth line physical presence. Something like Grant, Colborne, Jooris to compete against the bigger teams like LA and Anaheim.

    Move Stajan and has $3m+ to 3rd line center. It’s a much better use of resources.

    If its earned not given, then it certainly seems Grant has earned his chance and in my mind it strengthens the roster over Granlund.

  • RKD

    Discussing the Flames injury situation and impact on the organization is an interesting topic.

    So if TJ did not get injured at the start of the season; where would we be right now? Based upon his impact on the team I think we would be higher in the standings.

    Having had no significant injuries on the back end since then has prevented us seeing anyone called up and played. Is that a good thing or bad thing?

    Up front the comments about the revolving door of injuries is interesting. Thankfully no one gets hurt to badly or for to long so that’s a good thing. We have had no injuries to the bottom 3/4 so we have not had a chance to bring up anyone either. Note I am not wishing anyone to be injured.

    • FeyWest

      In regards to the injuries ont he back end, I think it’s a good thing maybe it’s just me but I feel like Dmen have a harder transition from the AHL to the NHL mid season just due to the speed difference. If I had my way you only transition Dmen at the beginning of the year or near the end of the season if Playoffs are out of the picture. The playing time helps them a lot more than the few games they may get due to an injury callup. This is not to say I don;t want the option there because there are going to be cases where bringning a Dman up mid-season is necessary and makes sense.

        • FeyWest

          This is true, I hope they resign him and he gets a good chance on the big club because he sounds like he’s performing very strongly in the AHL, isn’t he on a line with Kylington? It’s win-win either way because I feel Nakladal is good enough to play bottom-pairing minutes and potentially mid-pairing minutes which would be money found to play with Hamilton. But if he’s in the A he brings good presence and experience for development.

  • RKD

    Even though Ferly is out of Sunday’s game, Hartley said it is not long term which is great to hear. I agree on Raymond, we are paying too much money for this guy to eat popcorn in the press box. Occasionally he will have a good game or two but then go back to his old ways. Bollig over Jooris again is just plain dumb.